Thermoregulation in moulting and feeding Danaus plexippus L. (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) caterpillars

Serratore, Vanessa R., Zalucki, Myron P. and Carter, Patrick A. (2013) Thermoregulation in moulting and feeding Danaus plexippus L. (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) caterpillars. Australian Journal of Entomology, 52 1: 8-13. doi:10.1111/j.1440-6055.2012.00874.x

Author Serratore, Vanessa R.
Zalucki, Myron P.
Carter, Patrick A.
Title Thermoregulation in moulting and feeding Danaus plexippus L. (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) caterpillars
Journal name Australian Journal of Entomology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1326-6756
Publication date 2013-02
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-6055.2012.00874.x
Volume 52
Issue 1
Start page 8
End page 13
Total pages 6
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Body temperature in insects is affected by interactions between environmental variables, behavioural choices and the physiological state of the animal. Insect larvae display a number of tactics for thermoregulation which allow their body temperatures to deviate several degrees from ambient. Thermoregulatory adaptations can reduce generation time and allow higher population growth rates. However, few investigations have examined thermoregulation of moulting larvae. This study measured whether moulting Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) larvae thermoregulate, and, if so, whether they thermoregulate similarly to feeding larvae. Body temperatures of moulting and feeding larvae were compared to their microhabitat temperatures. In three of four environments, feeding larvae were able to thermoregulate in such a way that their body temperature was higher than ambient at low ambient temperature, and lower than ambient at higher ambient temperature. However, moulting larvae appear not to thermoregulate because their body temperature did not differ from ambient in three of four environments. These results pose the question of whether larvae are behaviourally and/or physiologically constrained from thermoregulating during the moulting process. Additional studies are needed to address such questions and would help to elucidate the impact of thermoregulation of moulting larvae on the ecology and evolution of insects.
Keyword Danaus plexippus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 5 September 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
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Created: Fri, 09 Nov 2012, 13:58:01 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences